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I just re-read this thread. Actually, NellieD makes a good point which I had forgotten: Your child will likely be eligible for food stamps if they live both off-campus and out of your home.

There may be some other requirements (these things vary state to state, I believe... my memory is rusty, as it was years ago that I was in college.) It's kind of distasteful to go apply, as you have to sit in line with a bunch of smelly repugnant trashy type people, and it's a government bureaucracy so you're there for an hour or more, but it's free money. I qualified for $100 a month, which has probably been increased some in the yeaers since. This amount hich covered a decent size chunk of the food bill. There was a little humiliation in spending food stamps for groceries, but I went to a grocery store away from campus and reminded myself that that was $100 more in my pocket. Sadly, I didn't manage the extra money well, and most of the amount I saved wound up going for beer, but I digress.

If you do this (and it is distasteful to set up, so if your child is a daughter or is squeamish, make sure someone accompanies them to the aid office,) make sure you know the rules ahead of time, there are a lot of little things to trip you up. For example, make sure your child applies in the summer. That way, when they ask if he/she is enrolled as a full time student, they can say "no." (Full time students are ineligible for food stamps.) I eventually got tripped up by this one and lost my eligibility midway through my junior year. (I can see the compassion for this tragedy forming on NellieD's face already.)
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